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So we're moving to a state that requires students study civics every year, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what would meet that requirement. Do you think I'm supposed to assume it's US civics only? What are civics, exactly? Just government? Or economy, too?

My kids are 4th, 2nd, K, and PreK (obviously not on the books officially yet). I'm considering just looking for a straight up text book, and then just using it more like a "list" of things to talk about with them, just a topic a week or something like that (not having them go through the book at all themselves, it would just be for me.) 

Any recommendations? I don't want them on those free online civics apps, fun as they seem. The last thing my kids need is more screentime! lol.

Edited by 4KookieKids
taking out some grumbling/bad attitude. :)
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The dictionary definition of Civics is "the study of the rights, privileges, and duties of the citizens of a nation" -- which would be topics like voting, legal system, Civil Rights, etc. I have no idea what topics your new state's Education Board might think to call "Civics" ... perhaps look at the Education Board's website, or a homeschool association website for the new state for more details...?? 

Just a *guess*,  but their "Civics" requirement might include things like:
- pledge of allegiance
- patriotic songs (Wee Sing America -- also includes culturally well-known folksongs/Americana)
- elections/voting
- immigrants/immigration
- symbols, individuals, events, and documents that represent the United States
- basic info about the Constitution and our form of government
- state capital, state counties, state flag, state bird, etc.
- states and capitals

Some possible books:
- Coming to America: Story of Immigration (Maestro) -- gr. K-3rd
- True Book: Ellis Island (Landau)-- gr. 2-5
- One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote (Worth) -- gr. K-3rd
- We the People: Story of the Constitution (Cheney) -- gr. K-4
- Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution (Fritz) -- gr. 2-4
- A More Perfect Union: Story of the Constitution (Maestro) -- gr. 1-5
- If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution (Levy) -- gr. 2-4
- I Know My Rights: A Children's Guide to the Bill of Rights (Margraf) -- gr. 3-5
- The 4th of July Story (Dagliesh) -- pre-K-3rd
- The Star-Spangled Banner (Welch) -- stepped reader about Frances Scott Key, national anthem
- Red, White and Blue: Story of the American Flag (Herman) -- stepped reader
- Saving the Liberty Bell (Figley) -- stepped reader
- The Statue of Liberty (Penner) -- stepped reader
- I Pledge Allegiance (Swanson) -- stepped reader
- First Kids (Davis) -- stepped reader -- children of Presidents, lived in White House

Some possible activities/worksheet resources for "output":
- I Love America Teacher Resource Kit
- Election Activity Book
- Teachers Pay Teachers -- use as coloring pages/worksheets -- examples: 3 Branches of Government (gr. 4); Citizenship and Me (gr. 4); My Community Unit (gr. 2); Being a Good Citizen (gr. 2)
- Scholastic: Be Informed Speak Up, Act -- lesson plan on community action/citizenship, gr. 3-5

Other:
- Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock songs
- 4th of July puzzle book
"Studies Weekly" Social Studies -- might have "Civics" topics along with history and geography topics

Edited by Lori D.
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In K and 1st grade civics is all about being a good citizen in the family, school, and larger community (ie getting allong with others). It is often taught as part of a social studies curriculum.

  • Community helpers - police, fire fighters, doctors, librarians, teachers ...
  • Respect for others and self - following rules, taking turns, golden rule, personal hygiene
  • Personal safety
  • Respect for the environment 
  • US flag and pledge of allegiance
  • US and state symbols
  • Holidays and other customs and celebrations

2nd grade and up incorporate more of the topics Lori mentions.   

Additional resources to consider:

 

ETA: Take a look at the Social Studies sections of WorldBook's Typical Course of Study for your children's grades.   How to teach state required subjects you don't necessary want to teach while still having time to do the subjects you want to teach?  Set a block of time, 15 to 30 minutes daily, or an hour once or twice a week and rotate through the state required topics with all your students at once.  It won't hurt the kindergartener to learn about presidents and doing a holiday craft (doubles as art) can be fun for a 4th grader.    

 

 

Edited by Sherry in OH
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I would honestly expect civics to be taught in every country. Not just America. But about how things are done in THAT country.

In the schools (in Texas) What I remember:

K-Community helpers, Pledge of Allegiance, getting along with each other.

1-Facts/symbols about the state, getting along with each other, Holidays

2-More about holidays, talking about a few famous figures through history, Tall tale legend figures

3-America history, patriotic songs, some states and capitals

4-Texas history

5-Voting, Constitution, government details

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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We've gone kind of broad for civics. We've done the Australian government system and how our voting works, how laws are passed etc.

But we also looked into other government systems around the world: democracies, republics, monarchies, theocracies, communism, autocracies, dictatorships etc.

I thought it would be dry, but it was actually very interesting.

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It just annoys me to think of how egocentric we are as a country, and my annoyance is getting in the way of me figuring out what I actually need to do in this situation.

 

Well, at this stage 'civics' probably means something like "rights and responsibilities as citizens" - things like "why we don't litter" and "this is why we pay taxes and what we get in return", and "this is what the fire department does and let's do our house fire drill to practice" and "I care deeply about this age-appropriate issue, so I'm writing to town hall / my congresscritters about it".

But without specific guidelines it's probably okay to discuss comparative governmental systems as civics. I mean, yeah, the reason it's law is probably more patriotic than practical, but it's not like kids don't need to know how the government works and what the alternatives look like. It's right up there with comparative religion and home ec to me - we need to know these things to live with other people.

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We do civics through history.  As we explore cultures and time periods, we talk about how their laws were made, the differences between say, a democracy and a monarchy, human rights and responsibilities, and bit by bit work our way up to current day and U.S.-centric civics and how that applies to being a child in our country and an adult.

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:59 PM, 4KookieKids said:

So we're moving to a state that requires students study civics every year, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what would meet that requirement. Do you think I'm supposed to assume it's US civics only? What are civics, exactly? Just government? Or economy, too?

My kids are 4th, 2nd, K, and PreK (obviously not on the books officially yet). I'm considering just looking for a straight up text book, and then just using it more like a "list" of things to talk about with them, just a topic a week or something like that (not having them go through the book at all themselves, it would just be for me.) 

Any recommendations? I don't want them on those free online civics apps, fun as they seem. The last thing my kids need is more screentime! lol.

Are you sure it's required *every year*? For example, in Texas homeschoolers are supposed to teach a course in "good citizenship," which Official School People define as civics; but there is no definition of how long, how much, how often, to what extent, in what manner, nothing.

Unless your new state requires you to document hours spent, or course descriptions, or something, I wouldn't get too wound up over it, especially since your dc are so young. 🙂

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We are using Houghton Mifflin books with the corresponding worksheets this year for my 3rd grader.  Harcourt makes a pretty good looking one also.  I bought the HM and workbook used. Less than $10 total.

And 180 days of Social Studies for my 6th grader. It covers history, economics, civics, geography.  I will use it as a reinforcement/review mostly.

We are not required to, but it bugs my kids that they never know those questions about communities on the standardized tests. 🙂

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